26 December 2006

Rain Come Down

It is raining again.

It is weird here...it can't just rain and go away. It instead has to pour, cause flooding, and wreak havoc.

Hopefully it'll clear up tomorrow!

20 December 2006

Soap Operas Suck

Why do I subject myself to this crap. I have been watching them forever...but my gosh, this stuff is rotting my brain!

Just a Few More Days...

'til we get a long weekend! I am already in a holidaze, which does me no good. Thankfully, everyone else at work seems to be, as well.

19 December 2006


How sad is it that it is colder here, in California, than it is in most of the rest of the country. We're not quite sure how to handle this 40F and below weather...meanwhile New York was enjoying 60F+.

Global warming?

13 December 2006

In It for the Long Haul.

The other night I was out to dinner, and kind of a neat thing was going on at the table next to me. There was a woman who had brought her parents to dinner...not only to celebrate her father's 81st birthday, but also to celebrate her parent's 60th wedding anniversary.

How cool is that? 60 years?

It got me thinking...even if I were to marry someone tomorrow, chances are slim I would celebrate 60 years with them. To even get to a 50th anniversary with someone is become a smaller possibility. My parents, who got married at 19 and 21, could easily make these milestones. But as people get married later and later, a feat like 60 years seems even greater.

I can't even fathom, right now, what it is like to spend 5 years with someone (although I hope to find out!). What kind of patience and understanding is needed to achieve this? I don't know, but it must be pretty special!

Happy anniversary, couple sitting next to me. And good on ya.

Still Sniffling...

Yes, I am still sniffling. This is ridiculous. Like I said, I already had this cold in the early fall. This one is includes a little more chest congestion, but still... I am tired of feeling icky. Thankfully, the big knockouts on this one happened on the weekend, so I didn't miss work, but I don't think my coworkers appreciate my hacking cough and sniffly nose.

I hope to wake up tomorrow and have it all be gone!

Rain Rain, Go Away

Am I getting repetitive? I am not digging the rain one bit.

I don't mind the rain, per se, I mind that it is raining when I have time to be outside. If it rained, say, between 10am and 2pm - after rush hour and before the evening commute - while I was in the office, I'd be cool with it. If it rained normal rain, that would also be ok...this rain is that weird mist that makes an umbrella serve no purpose.

I've had enough for now!

10 December 2006

O Christmas Tree!

This week, I got my very first very own Christmas tree. It was very exciting for me, and one of the things I had really been looking forward to. When I first got this condo, I looked at the big space in the front room and thought, "Wow, that would be the perfect place for a Christmas tree!" (it was also in late October, so Christmas was starting to be on my mind)

It is kind of nice, having very little furniture in here, as the tree doesn't get anything messy nor did I have to move anything. It was awesome!

I went over to the local lot (run by a not-for-profit, the same one I used to move) and a very helpful man explained to me all the different trees and options. He pointed me in the right direction when I told him the type and size I wanted. Once I found my pretty tree, he took it off the stand, had the trunk cut, and helped me to shrink wrap it. I put it right into my car and headed home.

I thought trees were heavier, but I was able to carry this tree no problemo into my place. I set up my stand and popped the tree in. I wanted to wait until the branches had time to drop before decorating, but I got excited, and decorated it right then.

It looks so nice, all lit up in the corner. It adds a little something to the big open space. And it makes me feel like a grown up, able to have my own tree. I don't know yet whether that is a good or bad thing, this growing up business, but for the holidays, it is nice to have a little something extra.

09 December 2006

Mean Girls

I am currently watching the movie "Mean Girls." While it is a little exagerated, I can't help but think it isn't so off base.

Girls are often mean to one another. While boys may work things out with their fists, girls tend to use more mental games. Of course, this is a gross over generalization, but generalizations are there for a reason.

I clearly remember when 3-way calling first came into existence. And I would get calls from friends who had someone else on the line, trying to trap me into saying something about the third person. Or, vice-versa. (I didn't have 3-way calling, but my friends did) And how we would ignore one person in our group at a time, until it was someone else's turn to be hated.

I guess when we are teens, we are trying to find out place in the world. And we are not always happy with ourselves, so we take it out on others. Boys fight it out, girls mess with each other's minds. It is fascinating to me that we survive this age; hopefully the scars heal but stay as a reminder of how to treat, or not treat, other people.


It is Saturday night.

I am home.



06 December 2006

The Weather Outside is Frightful

When I arrived in Chicago on Monday, it was 8 degrees. Yes, 8 degrees. Who lives like that? I am a big baby when it comes to weather, I'll admit that without hesitation...but single digits? That to me is insane.

Outta My Way!

Why do people insist on walking right in front of me, and then walking as slowly as possible. Then, as if that weren't enough, they meander back and forth across the sidewalk and cut off my passing lane.


03 December 2006


I am currently sitting in an airport, waiting on a 3 hour delayed flight. I am bored. Thankfully, the airport has WiFi. Unfortunately, I am out of things to look at. They also have the air conditioning pumped up even though it is about 40 degrees outside. Makes no sense to me.

29 November 2006

Stinky Bus

Ah...the joys of public transportation. One of my bus choices to get home, and the most frequent, is one of the more popular routes in the city. It is also, in my experience, one of the stinkiest.

Today, I had to sit in the center of the two bus units. As the bus got more crowded, more and more people were standing, until one was directly in front of me, crotch at eye level. Fantastic. He was also a smoker, which made him all the more pleasant. And, what makes it even better, is that when there is a crotch in your face, there is no where else to turn.

28 November 2006

Lessons Learned

Today I learned an important lesson. I have been living in my new place for about a week. There is still stuff sitting around, waiting for me to put it away. Mainly, it sits because I can't figure out where I should put it.

However, today I learned that it only takes a few minutes to put things away. I have been staring at the stuff on my bathroom counter, procrastinating. Just now, I put it in my organizing bins, and put it away. Now, my bathroom is all spanking neat. Yay!

27 November 2006

Baby It's Cold Outside

Winter has definitely started rearing its chilly head. This morning it was raining, and the rain was cold enough that it was close to frozen. I realize I am a weather baby, but truly, it is chilly.

And the weather here is so weird. When I left my house at around 9 this morning, it was freezing and rainy outside, so I had a wool jacket and scarf on. About 20 minutes later, after my stop at the post office, I was walking to work and so hot. The sun had broken through, and it was beating down and drying things up.

And now, on my way back home, it is cold again. Enough so to have my heater on!

26 November 2006

Turkey Lurkey

This week was that of my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving. I like Thanksgiving because it just is. There is no religious element, no presents, not too much family politicking. And lots of good food.

My mom usually hosts Thanksgiving; she has for about a decade or so. We have the same thing each year, the standard Thanksgiving culinary delights. I tried in the past to introduce new dishes, but was not too successful. In fact, the only thing that has changed of late is the cranberry sauce; where we used to use the canned kind with ridges, we now use more freshly made yumminess from Trader Joe's.

I really do try to stop and think of what I am grateful for in the last year. So much has gone on... the main thing I am grateful for is that my Papa went the way he did, and on his terms. I can't imagine what it would have been like, for him or my family, had he continued to get sicker. I am thankful for my family, my parents, my brother. I feel extremely lucky in that sense. Things aren't perfect, but they are what they are.

I have spent the last few days in a full turkey coma, completely stuffed. I can't wait to hop to the gym tomorrow!

23 November 2006

On My Way to Work

I walk almost every day to work. Some days, I stop and pay attention to the things around me, and take note of what I see.

For example, the middle aged man on a jog. This would seem normal, around here lots of people jog in the morning, but there was something different about him. This man, out for his morning exercise, was jogging with a little white donut bag. Awesome.

There was also the woman kind of weaving her way back and forth on the sidewalk. Her hair had a ponytail bend in it, like it hadn't been washed. Her lack of ability to walk made me wonder...is she still drunk?

My favorite of late have been the sidewalk washers. Each morning, a few business owners have madly been hosing down their sidewalks. I get that there is a good chance it smells like urine, or whatever else people chose to leave in front, but the way that these guys go at it is truly amazing. And kind of a waste of water. Once a week, fellas, once a week.

21 November 2006


For some reason, there was a little miscommunication with my cable getting hooked up, so I was stuck without it this weekend. This, a tragedy in its own right, was compounded by the fact that for some reason, no broadcast station comes in. I tried to watch regular TV, but nothing seemed to work.

So, there I was, disconnected from the world it seems. I have the Internet, but my Sunday routine of watching the news was totally disrupted by this lack of TV. I read the newspaper online, but it wasn't the same. As I unpacked, I needed something to watch.

What I watched is the subject of a whole other blog entry, but suffice to say I am both thrilled and embarrassed at the same time. But it felt weird, to be here, at home, and not be able to know what is really going on in the outside world without getting on the computer. I can't say that I disliked it, the way the news has been lately it is little more than depressing. But I missed my morning ritual, and I missed my friendly newscasters.

19 November 2006

All Moved In

Well, this weekend I moved! I am now sitting in my very own condo, amidst a bunch of half empty boxes.

It smells of fresh paint, has big bright windows that let in a lot of light but not too much sound, and is mine all mine.

There is a lot I need to do...starting with my closet. I have a nice big closet, which is in desperate need of a custom job. The space is completely underutilized, which I am going to remedy as soon as possible! Once that gets done, I can start getting other furniture, and get rid of the little I have now (so long, old dresser that I can't stand!). I am also not sold on the way the bathroom is set up, so am trying to make a few decisions there.

For a long time, I haven't wanted to buy anything for my apartment, as it wasn't really mine and I didn't want to invest the money. But now, I can have things my way, because this place is mine!

13 November 2006

Connect the Dots, LaLaLaLa

Recently I watched an episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

I had forgotten just how brilliant this show was. It had a lot of bright colors and loud noises, so it is easy to see how kids got into it. But I think that stopped people from seeing the greatness going on in the show. There was a maturity to it that was masked by the screaming word of the day antics.

Pee-Wee's friends helped keep him in check. They showed kids what behavior was accepted and when they (via Pee-Wee) may be misbehaving. In the episode I watched, Pee-Wee made a salad from a salad bar, in an effort to get his viewers to eat a little more healthily. Imagine that!

Despite Pee-Wee's out-of-character antics, which were not so kid-friendly, this show has seen a revival. I, for one, am very happy about that!

A Step in the Right Direction

Almost a week has passed since the midterm elections, and I am still giddy! I can't believe the Democrats were able to take the Congress, a sorely needed step in the right direction.

Many blogs/bulletin boards/etc. I have read say, "Well, now nothing will get done." While I disagree, I would rather have nothing than what has gotten done over the past 6 years.

Bush & Co. has also been humbled, which I think will bode well overall. He thought he could control everything and all would follow his lead. This result sends a clear message that this is no longer the case. It also means he should be shaking in his boots a bit, as he can be tried for some of his actions (wiretapping, anyone?). It still strikes me as ridiculous that Clinton got charged for lying about having sex (which was less about the lying, which was a legit argument, and way more about the sex, which never should have been brought up in the first place as it doesn't, I don't think, have anything to do with running the country and doesn't affect its people), while nothing has been brought up against some of the atrocities that have happened the last few years.

I'm rambling. Last week gave me more faith in the American people than I've had in quite some time. And while I don't think it was so much a vote FOR Democrats as it was a vote AGAINST Republicans, I'll still take it!

12 November 2006


Tonight I went out for the first time in a while. Things have been a bit nuts, plus, with the whole purchasing a home thing, I have been trying to save a buck or two.

Tonight was my friend's bday, and I went to two places I haven't yet been in the years I have lived there. I tasted one of the most delicious dishes of mac & cheese ever in my life (holy moses), and had quite a few drinks.

I am not at all thinking that I have been everywhere in this city. But it is fun to find cool places that I would revisit even after I have been here a while. It was a bit of a chilly night, but I think since it wasn't raining, people were out en force. It was fun to people watch and just chill out with some friends.

And now I am home, and I think it is about that time to hit the sack.

09 November 2006

Best Show NOT on TV?

ABC Family has recently started airing episodes of Everwood, a former WB show. Watching it from the beginning, I have to say, this was a most excellent show. It is a shame it is no longer on TV, because it was easily one of the best ever on WB (not cheesy good, like Dawson's Creek, but real quality good). (also, shut it, I know I am too old for teenage dramas...I like 'em, ok!)

The acting is stellar, and the storylines are for the most part believable. The teenagers act like teenagers. The parents are not best friends with the kids, nor are they perfect. Nothing is idealized, things hurt, are painful to watch; in short, they are real.

I just picked up this show towards the end of the run, and it was definitely over too soon. I miss watching the lives of the Browns and the Abbotts, and life in the small town of Everwood. I am so glad it is running again!

Packing Stinks...

I think I have written before about my aversion to packing. Although that time I was just talking about packing my suitcase, not my whole apartment.

I am moving in a week (YAY!), which means packing (BOO!). My apartment, which is not too big, is full of boxes. Boxes Boxes everywhere. Some flat, some full, some of them totally unmoveable due to the amount of books in them. There are bags of paper, with which I will wrap my valuables. All of this means there is no where to move around my apartment.

It is gross in here. I wish I could snap my fingers or wiggle my nose, or tap my heels together and this would all be packed. No such luck. So it is pack packin' away for me.

06 November 2006

Almost there!!

Today I signed away my first born child. At least, that could have been in there!
I signed all the papers today for my new home! They have you sign all these crazy things, many of which say the same thing over and over again. It all contains a bunch of lawyer speak.

It is so scary to me that in just a few short days I will be a bona fide homeowner!! Whoda thunk it?

05 November 2006

Scene in Las Vegas

There is no other place in the world like Vegas (there can't be!). This city unabashedly lives the moniker "Sin City." Just about anything you want, you can get...even something previously unknown to you! Casinos lack windows and clock, and the only indication of the passing of time is the dwindling pile of chips sitting in front of you.

Looking around, truly anything goes. From the middle-aged, fanny-packed couple ooing and awing over a drag show, the senior Liz Taylor look alike walking out of the chapel with a 23-year old man, to a high roller getting comped an upgrade complete with several escorts, nothing is too far fetched. The 7.99$ buffet sits next to the four-star chophouse, which both may sit in a hotel modeled after a middle-eastern palace.

Las Vegas is information overload, and it is a glorious chance to lose yourself, if only for a little bit.

04 November 2006

Los Dias Sevillanos

Los Dias Sevillanos

Although it was a few years ago, it seems like just yesterday that I lived in Sevilla, Spain. After graduating from college, I decided I wasn't quite ready to enter the real working world (especially since many of my friends were still in school). Being a Spanish minor, I felt that the only way I was ever going to get the nerve to speak the language was to to go to Spain and learn Spanish.

My first few days in Sevilla were rough. It was very hot, I didn't know anyone, and my living situation isn't what I thought it would be. I had thought I would be in an apartment with at least one other student, but that wasn't the case. I shared the apartment of a Sevillana woman who wasn't around very much, and who locked up the phone in her room so I couldn't use it. I felt a little lost and a little homesick.

Once I started classes, it was great! Sevilla is such a wonderful town. Many of the landmarks are a mix of Spanish and Moorish architecture, which really give the city personality. (there is also a coffin in the Cathedral that supposedly holds the remains of Christopher Columbus) It is truly a Spanish town...siestas shut down the city for a few hours in the afternoon, most people are Spanish-only speakers (which was perfect, as I was trying to learn and falling back on English wasn't an option), the technology at the time was a little behind that of more northern cities Madrid & Barcelona. But people were friendly, there were gypsies singing flamenco at night, and there was a sense of pride, despite the economic downturn the city was experiencing.

And, to top it off, I was learning and speaking Spanish! I was even dreaming in Spanish, which they told us was a great sign that we were learning. We could converse with locals, with each other, with tourists who were having a hard time. It was awesome!

Even all these years later, I still recall my time spent in Sevilla learning Spanish as one of the best in my life. I have back to Spain since studying there, but haven't yet headed back to Spain. Soon, I hope!!

30 October 2006

Halloween Eve

Halloween in San Francisco is a time honored tradition. Years ago, people would stream into the Castro District, partying and having fun until the wee hours.

Things have changed a bit. While people still stream to the Castro, since 9/11 security has gotten tighter, and so has tolerance for bad behavior. There were lots of problems with fights (the Castro is not a violent area, but when you get that many people in one area, well, stuff happens), so I believe alcohol has been banned. The area swells to at least double the normal population, as people from all over come to visit the legendary fiesta.

I attended this party a few years ago. It was an awesome time; back in the days before security was too tight and people were just having fun. I saw a man scale a pole, for no real reason, the Pussycat Dolls perform burlesque off of a fire escape on Castro Street (they may have been men, though), and, I saw Jesus (pictured above).

It is like something magic happens at Halloween. Becoming someone new, apparently, is something many people can't pass up.

22 October 2006

Just Did It!

Just Did It!

The Nike 26.2 Marathon & Half-Marathon was today, and I just did it! I did the half, and it was such a thrilling experience.

This was the third half-marathon I have completed in as many years. While this may not seem like a big deal compared to some (I met a woman yesterday who does at least one full marathon a month!), but it is to me. I was the person who swore she would never do an endurance run, couldn't even think about it, etc. Imagine my surprise when I was compelled to join Team in Training and do my first race, and then sign up for 2 more!

I didn't train really for this race - the longest distance I ran was maybe 5 miles and that was with a bit of walking when my knees pained me. I went in with the attitude that I would go as far as I could, then walk the rest. If I could run half of it, I would feel a-ok, and I wanted to finish in less than three hours.

The day started with a 5.45am wake up call. I was meeting a friend at 6.15am to walk down to the starting line. I had been hydrating for a few days as that was my biggest fear. We got to the starting area and were greeted by throngs of other women runners (the stats I read were 15,000 total runners, 150 of whom were men). You could feel the excitement in the air, especially from the many first timers. I remember that feeling when I first did this race, it is awesome.

There was music blaring and people scrambling to find their pace group. I personally never found mine...there were too many people to fight through so I just kind of stood where I landed. They had us count down, 10, 9, 8...then the gun went off and we were on our way!

The weather was perfect, probably high 50s at the start. I took off running and felt awesome. I got through the first two miles at a very quick pace; although I knew it wouldn't last, I was pretty impressed with myself! I stopped at about mile 2.5 to try to use the restroom, but the line was too long and I gave up. There were people cheering all over the course, and even though they weren't cheering for me, their cheers were encouraging.

I ran solid through mile 5, then took a quick walk and ran the rest of mile 6. Mile 7 introduced a mile-long hill, and I walked it. On my way up the turn, a woman slowed down and said to me, "You've got this, no problem." It was nice, and really encapsulates what I love about this race. I have said it before, I believe, that I am tired of seeing women tear each other down. We see it all the time in magazines, on reality TV, and in real life. And this race is about the opposite, it is women supporting and celebrating with one another. It is quite incredible.

By that time I was hungry and needing some energy. I had left my e-Gel packs in my bag, so they did me no good. Finally at mile 9 they gave us some Clif Shot Blocs, and I have to say, they were delicious! I walked a bit more and then we were on the downhill. YAY!!

Soon there were only 3 miles left, and I ran most of them. I couldn't believe I had that much energy left. I had a good talking to with myself, telling myself to suck it up, that my knees didn't hurt that bad and I could do it. I never saw a sign for miles 12 and 13, so I really wasn't sure where I was when I exited the park. Then I saw the finish line. It was right there, within my reach!

I picked up my pace the best I could and ran towards it. I thought of those that were with me throughout the race - both my grandmothers (who I had done previous races in memory of) and my Papa, to whom I dedicate this race. I got choked up thinking about them, and of all the others who were running beside my fellow racers. The pain of my knees was nothing compared to what those memories went through. It pushed me to finish strong, and finish below what my target was. And there was an SF Firefighter, dressed up in a tux, handing me my little blue Tiffany's box containing my finisher's medal.

It was a really wonderful day, and I am so glad I did it (even if it was just for the necklace). Ultimately, all the proceeds from this event go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and every little bit helps.

15 October 2006

Home Where I Belong.

The home buying process is a crazy one.

You get ready to make the plunge. You find an agent, who tells you great things about home owning and how fun the process is. You figure out your budget, you get the bank to tell you how much they'll give you, you want to throw up at what the payments are going to be. You figure out that maybe your budget should be a little lower, reset your expectations, and you start.

Your agent takes you out...what do you like, what don't you like, what is again wrong with this place. You wonder how to put into words that you just know this place isn't "it," that there is nothing exactly you can pinpoint as wrong, but it just isn't right.

Then you discover the MLS, the listing service. You get the listings from your agent each time a new one hits the market, and you drop everything to check it out. You go through the listings yourself and bug the agent, hey, lemme look at this one.

You go to more open houses. You find something you like, get excited, then are crushed when, for one reason or another, there is something wrong with it and it isn't a good buy. You keep plugging on, discouraged.

Then you go out and find several that you like. You have to make a decision. And that might be the scariest step yet.

09 October 2006

A New Decade

Today I turned 30. That feels so weird to say, I am 30. At lunch, my boss said something about a 29 year old, and I thought, holy shit, I am not in my 20's anymore. A whole new decade, a new part of life, right?

Funny thing, birthdays. I don't feel any different than I did yesterday, yet, I am in a whole new year of my life. Everyone tells me this is a big birthday, that the 30's are the best, blah blah blah gettingoldcakes, but... It all seems the same to me, thus far. Should I feel different? Older?

I generally don't like my birthdays, I kind of tend to hide. But today, I felt like I was looking at things differently. I stayed at my parent's house last night, so had to take the train to work this morning, and, for the first time in forever, I got a seat. Good sign for the first act of my 30's. I don't know that it means anything, but if I believed in signs I would think this bodes well for the rest of this year. There is so much that I hope...

But mainly, I hope, the seats are plentiful and the rides get better.

07 October 2006

It's Playoff Time

As I've mentioned before, I am a big baseball fan. And come October, baseball should be the dominating topic in any sports conversation (the fact that it's not really burns me...football has JUST STARTED, hockey - apparently - has also just started. This is the PLAYOFFS, peeps. Give baseball its due). It is for me.

This year, I am thrilled that my team has finally broken their streak of losing in the first round of the playoffs. (and, watching the Mets/Dodgers game right now, this guy made a huge error in the top of the 8th, giving the Mets a 4 run lead instead of 3, pretty much making a comeback unlikely) We swept a team not many gave us a chance to beat. We beat the best pitcher in baseball.

[Selfishly, I would have like them to have lost one, because I could actually go to Game 4. I was going to celebrate my birthday, the big 3-0, in a skybox with some friends & family, and maybe get my name in lights. That's not going to happen now. I am pretty disappointed; it was pretty much the only thing I was looking forward to that pertained to my bday. I know, selfish.]

There is an electricity to the playoffs that isn't there during most of the regular season. There is also a real sense that anything can happen. Today it did. The Yankee's, the team with the highest payroll and literally a team of all-stars, were defeated and knocked out of the playoffs by the Tigers, a team who had an awesome season until the very end, but doesn't have any huge superstars. In watching the game today, you could see why this could happen.

The game of baseball requires playing as a team. It isn't just up to the pitcher to get the ball up and away from the hitter, or the hitter to hit a home run each time. It requires that the defense have their head in the games and not make big mistakes. It requires the coach not to put a player who has just started playing a particular position in the game at that position IN THE PLAYOFFS [Joe Torre, I am looking at you]. It requires that your teammates support you even when things are a little tough on the field. Watching the Yankees demeanor and actions in the dugout, this certainly wasn't happening. The guys in the dugout didn't speak to each other; once they got behind you could see the fighting spirit drain out of them. This I don't understand...they are paid millions to play a game every day. We should all be so lucky.

It'll be interesting moving into this next round to see the A's vs. Tigers. These teams are somewhat similar in that there are no real big names (yes, we have Frank Thomas, but he was considered way past his prime when the A's picked him up). They play both play as a team, supporting each other on the field and in the dugout. They are both made up of players with not a ton of experience in the playoffs (there are exceptions, of course, but in general).

I am looking forward to it!

05 October 2006

Airport Code: JFK

I had the great pleasure of flying out of JFK today.

One would think, given the amount of traffic that goes through this airport, they would spruce it up a bit. I will admit that I have always been underwhelmed with this airport, but in the past I haven't had the opportunity to walk around much. Today I did.

I arrived and checked in, then headed to the security line. I swear, this line, though short, barely moved. They only have one little table in front of each machine, so you have to wait until you get to the front to put anything into a bin. Which makes everything SO SLOW. And, when you are behind a couple with a baby, who didn't think to start getting themselves ready until they were in the front (couldn't they have taken off their shoes, or jacket, or pulled the bags out from beneath the stroller).

Once through security, there are signs promising the "Food and Shopping Pavilion." I was hungry, so very excited that there would be a plethora of choices. Walking up there...the shopping pavilion was a few duty-free shops and a toy store where you could get the new Elmo if you spend 300$ on other toys. This gave me a feeling of dread for what my food choices might be.

My feeling was correct.

This great pavilion was a McDonalds, a Deli of sorts, an Italian place, and the typical airport bar/food place. And there may have been a smoothie place. Are you kidding me? In NYC, this is how they want their visitors to remember their city? For those just arriving, this is how they get them excited about the culinary delights that await them beyond the airport doors?

Maybe I am spoiled by SFO, which has a lot of restaurants and shops and things to keep you busy. Maybe I have flown into the wrong terminal, and others are better (I have been similarly underwhelmed by all of the NYC-area airports...). I don't know, but it surprises me.

04 October 2006


It is 1.10am. I am laying in the dark here in my hotel room (NY Palace...fancy), completely unable to sleep. Before I went to bed, I was exhausted. Now that I am in bed...I am completely unable to fall asleep.

So, cruising through the TV stations...

- Why did the lead singer of The Killers make himself so ugly? He was so beautiful in the Mr. Brightside video, and now he looks like some 1980's porn cop. I don't get it.

- Mexican telenovelas are hilarious. Everyone is crying. All the time.

- This Senator Foley is hot news. The more I read of his messages, the more creeped out I am.

- Ann Coulter is an idiot. She was on the O'Reilly show (I know, I know...INSOMNIA!) saying that the Republicans are going to have a bad election year, but it will have nothing to do with the Foley scandal, the wiretapping, Iraq, or anything. It's just going to be that way.

- Even muting Ann Coulter doesn't help. She is a scary, scary lady.

- There is really nothing on this late at night.

- There are a lot of good shows on Broadway right now. I wish I had time to go see them all (they have a Broadway preview channel; it is awesome).

- This Foley scandal is getting more press than the Amish shooting. Very sad.

- Tim Daly is friggin adorable. And that Fergusen character apparently uses "for customer use only" bathrooms without buying anything.

- I need to get up in 4 hours. Why in lord's name can't I get some sleep!?

- Why can't I find any highlights of the A's game. Some of us were working when the game was on frickin' early.

- Watching movies, like Jungle Fever, that were made in the 80's is is fun. I sometimes forget how bad the hair, clothes, and accessories were. Why are they bringing these things back?

- Why doesn't Michael Imperioli wax his eyebrows? A little grooming on those wouldn't hurt him any.

- Ok...Scrubs is on. I love me some Zach Braff. Finally, something quality.

I NEED TO GO TO SLEEP. Time is now 1.30am.

25 September 2006

Finding Lloyd Dobler

To this day, one of my favorite movies is Say Anything. I watched for what must be the 200th time the other night, and it got me thinking (dangerous, I know). My friends and I always fawn over Lloyd Dobler, how he is such a great guy, why aren't there more guys like him, he gave her his heart and she gave him a pen. How dumb is Diane Court, woah? Right? Right?

I am not sold.

We all say we want a guy like Lloyd Dobler (I definitely think it helps that he is played by the delicious John Cusack, but I digress), but really, I don't think we do. Take the romanticism out of the movie, and he is kind of a stalker. He has what he terms a date with Diane at the mall, when in reality, he just sat next to her. He asks her out - which is great - but then on the first date says his whole summer, his whole being at that point, was to be with her.

That would creep me the hell out. First date love professions? I'd be running for the hills.

He opens doors, he puts his jacket down for her over a puddle, he stands outside of her window with a boom box blaring a very romantic song. He patiently teaches her to drive a stick shift. He shivers and acts vulnerable, and she is all over him.

As perfect as that sounds, the lack of toughness or edge to him makes me think that type of guy only wins in the movies.

And in fact, until he gets that edge, until he asks her to rip up the letter, pretend she never got it, she has lost interest. Then, he refuses her, and she wants him back! That to me is realistic, because someone being good all the time gets boring.

If Say Anything were made today, Lloyd would be Googling Diane, checking out where she has been mentioned. He'd be posting love comments on her MySpace page or commenting relentlessly on her blog. He would send her a text message to avoid having to deal with Mr. Court, and sending her love eCards. And it would still be creepy.

Does Lloyd Dobler exist? I wouldn't be surprised if there were some guys out there that are like that, but I seriously doubt women would be loving them like so many of us love the guy in the movie. For me...I think I will take a heaping spoonful of Lloyd Dobler, seasoned with a dash of Joe (of Joe Lies, When He Cries), with a sprinkle of Jeremy Piven's character (of Give Me My Keys, I Love You Man).

21 September 2006

Slow Dancing, Swaying to the Music

Music. Although it is cliche, it really is the soundtrack of life. It has more power than it should, transporting you to a place in time, forever seared in your memory. When I hear Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill, I am immediately back in the cafe in Venice, Aussie boy by my side, other hostel mate swaying and singing aloud. I hear Duerme Conmigo by Jarabe del Palo, and boom, I am in Reyes' class, her yelling and me and Rafa for giggling while she is trying to talk. Humpty Dance? In Penny's rec room with my 8th grade class, actually doing the Humpty Dance in a big dance circle.

Music can also set the mood. It can set the party mood, the Celebration (Kool in the Gang- every A's win). Shout...gets the wedding going. Anything by Maxwell...well, that sets a different kind of mood.

I thought of this today while listening to Jeff Buckley. Talk about mood setting music. Listening to his "Grace" album, it was definitely put together in a way to set the pace for a dark encounter on a steamy night.

I never thought of music this way until college. Supposedly, a friend of a friend took a women's study class at Berzerkely. Supposedly, in this class, the teacher evaluated the song Satellite by Dave Matthews Band (the original version on the Remember Two Things album, not the remastered one). And, supposedly the teacher said this song is supposed to imitate a sexual encounter - the foreplay, the climax, the afterglow. (must be a very quick encounter, though...that song clicks in at less than 5 minutes)

So that theory popped into my head today as I was listening to Grace. The whole album is set in that same way. There is a kind of melodic intro, followed by a quickening of the pace, the beautiful climax in Hallelujah, the tender cuddle, then it starts again. It is a brilliant and completely dirty way of thinking of this album, which is at once beautiful and haunting. There is a big of melancholy in it, as well, a tinge of regret, a feeling of this is the last time. It is perfectly succinct, the perfect accompaniment.

Isn't that the way most encounters are? Even in the most stable of relationships, everything can be the last. And when you are in that moment, all you want to do is hang on to it; once it is over, there is the melancholy that follows feeling so good. And then soon, it passes, and you are left with the sweet memory and new possibilities. It is at once beautiful and haunting.

20 September 2006

Out Damn Cold!

And so it starts.

Apparently, cold/flu season kicked off this week. I arrived at work Monday morning to find a "wellness kit" on my desk, full of Emergen-C, lifesavers, Purell, and Kleenex. So very thoughtful of our office. Unfortunately, too late for me!

When I showed up at work, it was just to pick up my computer and head back home. I had hoped to get there early enough to not see anyone; I was in a tshirt and jeans with my unwashed hair pulled up in a ponytail, looking like death warmed over. For some reason, my boss had showed up early, so she saw me, promptly chastised me for even showing up and shooed me out of the office.

Looking back, I realize I was getting sick last week. I kept getting good nights' sleeps, but waking up feeling like I had gotten hit by a truck in my sleep. I thought I was just recovering from the wedding the weekend before, but now I know that was not the case (well, not fully the case). It also explains how I got tipsy so quickly that Friday night. I woke up Saturday morning, a little hungover but also with a big lump in my throat and clogged ears. I felt progressively worse throughout the day, even though I tried to tough it through a wedding, and my convalescence on my couch began upon my return home on Sunday.

Being sick really knocks me for a loop. I am too antsy to be sick. I would rather lay around and do nothing when I am feeling well, when I am not being FORCED to lay down because it is the only thing I can do. Laying here sick this week, I suddenly felt the propensity to clean...clean my kitchen, clean my bathroom...anything but lay down and nap. I got to the kitchen, but fell asleep before I could concentrate on the bathroom.

It is like loving to read, but not being able to do it when the teacher tells you to. I guess a part of me (maybe all of us) does not like to do what I am told.

I got sent home again today from work. I figured after two days it was out of hand, and I needed to get into the office. My coworkers watched me closely, without getting too close, and the first sniffle they heard was the cue to get me out. I went home under protest.

It has been a long time since a cold has kicked my butt in this way...damn it!

11 September 2006

Where Were You When...?

Up until 2001, I often wondered what my generation would have as our "I remember exactly where I was when..." moment. My parents had JFK, my grandparents had Pearl Harbor, but up until five years ago, I wasn't sure what ours would be. We had the Challenger explosion (I was in 4th grade, sitting at the reading table when Mrs. Jenkins came running in the classroom to tell us), the 1989 Loma Prieta quake (I was laying on my bed crying after fighting with my parents), fall of the Berlin Wall (this one I don't remember where I was, sadly) Rodney King (at home sick from school)...these things were all big, but they didn't necessarily make me feel like I was suddenly living in a different world.

Everyone has their 9/11 story...

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was working at a trade show in Atlanta. It was hot and sticky as I walked, in my suit, down to the convention center. I went down to the meeting room where I was to start my working day, my coworker Dan joined me shortly after. We were in a windowless room at the bottom of the center, so really had no idea what was going on around us. Suddenly, one of our editors walked in and told us a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Dan and I were confused...it must have been some commuter plane or something; the WTC was not in the flight path of any airport. The editor called her husband, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal, while I stepped out to go check the Internet. When I came back in, she was on the phone giving us the bullet. Two planes. Not commuter. Another plane at the Pentagon. At the PENTAGON? Our last fortress? This was bad.

The Internet was slow and jammed. My other coworkers started arriving, and hadn't yet heard what happened. We were supposed to go to the Braves game that evening, so they were going to pass out tickets. We still hadn't seen any video, and didn't understand the magnitude. They went up to pass out the tickets, and were back quickly. A client had said there would be no game, and when they finally saw the TV, they understood why. They immediately called back to California and had someone rent them a car in Atlanta to drive home, just in case. Other coworkers struggled to contact their family members (phone lines were all tied up everywhere), some of whom worked/went to school right next to the WTC. We all wondered what would be next. Here we were, across the country, away from our families with no clue when we'd get home.

I didn't see the footage until about 2pm that day. And what I saw devastated me. Then I saw that Atlanta was on the target list, as the Center for Disease Control is there (and right down the street from our hotel). We wandered over to the Hard Rock Cafe, which was short staffed and running out of food...yet everyone was patient. We all just needed to be together. Our boss wanted us to go back to work the next day; most of us couldn't understand. Our boss' daughter was across the street from WTC; I think she needed to keep working to avoid thinking about what could have happened. We watched the news, waiting to hear word of survivors, rarely getting it.

For me, the hardest part was being away from my home. Part of me has always felt that, even though they were scared, those who were home in New York were lucky, they were home and close to people who loved them. I was alone and scared. I had no idea how or when I would get home. And I had no idea what the world I lived in was to become.

I finally made it home on Saturday, two days later than I was supposed to be there, so, not too bad, considering. The check-in and security lines snaked outside of the Atlanta airport, but, despite all the people, it was silent. No complaining, just worried faces making their way through. The military was there with their huge guns. Everyone checked out everyone else in the waiting areas; people of Middle Eastern descent got wary looks. After a few hour delay we got on the plane, quietly. Every bump caused distress, every call button pushed caused wonder. When we landed, you could see the visible relief on everyone's faces.

I was so glad to be home I practically ran through the airport. It was one of the only times I have been met in the airport (usually, if I am picked up, it is outside). I still remember the look of relief on my mom's face when she saw me, and the tightness of her hug when I neared her. I was home, safe; it felt almost selfish, but I was still glad.

It has been five years, and the world is a different place. I don't understand the type of hate that would cause someone to do such a thing. I don't understand how this could be done in the name of a loving God. Maybe I have little faith, but I also have a great love of humanity.

I finally have my "I remember where I was when..." moment; not a day goes by where I wish I didn't.

04 September 2006

A Year Later...

This past week marked the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A year ago, we were all glued to our televisions or to the Internet, watching human agony and wondering why no one was helping. It made big news when one or two people went down to help, and when money was finally sent down, and real federal help, we wondered why it took so long, although we were relieved it finally happened.

Even now, I watch the footage, or they show how the affected areas look today, and I personally am still left wondering how this could happen in the United States. It looked like the tsunami affected areas in southeast Asia. Here, in the land of plenty, these people lost everything and no one was there to help them. Yet we are forwarding an agenda of war and killing on another country's soil, spending billions of dollars to "spread democracy" while our own people drown and rot in bacteria-laden water. There is all this killing going on so that we can have our claim on oil and prove our dominance, but we don't have the money to prevent devastation like in the South.

Part of me wonders how our government could not have fixed those levees, which they were warned would give at any moment. Then I look around my own state. We have failing levees, many which started to crumble and cause floods earlier this year when we had 1.5 months of rain. And our government has been warned time and again what would happen if those central valley dams broke. And closer to home, we have a bridge, one of the most heavily trafficked in the world, that may collapse if there is a major earthquake. And there is all this fighting over where that money is coming from, which has held up construction time and again, and meanwhile should the big one hit thousands may die. Where are our priorities?

I don't understand how all this could happen, and if I was the type who prayed, I would pray for all of those rebuilding their lives in the wake of the disaster. And, with elections right around the corner, I can only hope that the American people wake up and stop furthering the agenda this administration has set forth (there have been plenty of alarms going off - Katrina and other hurricanes, illegal wiretapping by our president, his staunch refusal to admit perhaps he was wrong about this whole war thing, critical leaks by his administration...).

Wow, this took a different path, but I am angry, and I think it is time others get angry, too!

13 August 2006

(Bitter)Sweet Memories

I was just flipping through the stations and came across the movie "Before Sunrise." The flush of memories that came back is incredible. And the longing to relive them, or make new memories like them, is intense.

The movie is about two people who meet on a train, and American guy and a French woman. They start talking, and have easy conversation, and he convinces her to spend the evening with him in Vienna. (not spend the night like THAT) They have the most random and open conversation, all the stuff you want to ask someone you are first dating but can't, but since they know this is the only night, they have no problem asking one another. As the evening goes on, the start to like each other more and more, and know this is it, and trying to make it last. The movie is just them talking, laughing, and being in that uncomfortable but beautiful stage of knowing each other.

This movie may not resonate to many people, but to those who have traveled, and traveled solo, it will. We have these moments, which are more intense than a first date because you know what is around the bend, but want to hold onto the now. When you can talk and talk and it is all so deep and meaningful because no one knows either of you, and as the woman in the movie says, no one can tell the other all the bad things about you. It is real and free and lovely. You look deep into the other person's eyes and want to hold on and capture what he looks like, the particular glimmer, because right now this is the most important person that will ever be, and you know in just a short time he will be gone from your life.

You walk and talk and really know each other, the new flush of what must be love. You can't imagine life not knowing this most interesting person. You want to hold and be near him, because he is filling every piece of what you want, what you are missing at home. You can't stop listening, and you can't talk enough, and you just need to know more, more! You will never find anyone who understands you as well as this person. You will never have the opportunity like this to know someone in such an intense and protected place. He looks at you and you at him and you just know. He is the end all, be all.

Then it is time for him to get on the train and you to go your own way. Although you may have only known him for a day, a few days, a week, a month, you feel as if you have known him forever and a piece of you is being ripped off and sent away. You pine and wish and wonder how you can make it work, how he can move to wherever you will be or maybe you can move near him. You realize this just isn't possible, that it is ridiculous and out of the question and what are you thinking, but your heart just wants more, needs more. You promise to write and maybe visit, that somehow things might work out, but all you really know is that you will never forget.

You get to the station when it is time, just to spend every last second. You have the romantic kisses and wish someone could take your picture and make it a postcard like the one in "Singles" that we all had on our bulletin boards in college. You grasp his hand and walk him up to the train, only letting go when he has walked up the steps out of your reach. He leaves on that train, you wave goodbye and watch it leave and it is like all your world is crumbling. Your heart is hurting and your brain is chastising it, you knew this was going to happen and yet did nothing to stop it. You get back to your room and cry and hurt, until your friends make you go have a drink or do a dance.

You go on with life and travels. Nowadays I guess you would email but back then, that didn't happen. You wait for a poste restante and can't meet anyone who matches up. You try to figure out a way to be close to him again, knowing that it is all a pipe dream. You meet other people and they pass through and you can't find the strength to say goodbye anymore.

You get home and the years pass and you wonder, what if? What if there had been more than that one night, week, month. What if you had figured things out? You know life would have happened, that nothing would have been so romantic as those days, that reality would have gotten in the way. It makes you sad but happy at the same time, because you can watch movies like "Before Sunrise" and really understand what these two crazy people are doing.

It is the unique thing about traveling, about being outside of the place you live and your comfort zone. And it is so incredible, even though at the time is so painful. To know that you are capable of those totally free and honest moments without consequence, and that someone else out there could be capable of it too, it is, for lack of better word, awesome. It makes me long to be back in that place. It makes me long to just be armed with my backpack, train ticket, and the promise of the empty road full of understanding.

10 August 2006

My Body, My Self.

This summer has not been the best, health-wise, for my family. My Papa passed away, my Grandpapa has been in and out of the hospital, my grandma Betty (my cousin's grandma) has been in and out of the hospital, cancer came back in my cousin's mother-in-law, and my mom has to have surgery. This is just the big stuff. In light of all this, I have been thinking about other peoples' bodies, and my own.

So often I hear people putting down their bodies. Their body is never good enough, too skinny, too fat, not curvy enough, too bottom heavy, too top heavy, one ankle bigger than another (maybe that's just me). We are never happy with our bodies. We abuse our bodies (no exercise, overexercise, eat too much/little, drink, smoke, drugs...the list goes on), and then complain about them.

But seeing all these people sick, and some gone, it makes me appreciate my body more. My body is healthy. It has it's aches and pains, but it is healthy. It carries me each day, through my walk to work and sometimes back up the hill to get home. It carries me to the gym when I can get up, or to run days.

And it carries me, despite me not listening to it. When it needs sleep, I wake up early. Yet rather than rebel, it often does it best to fight through whatever I deprived it. When I am hungover and my head feels as though it may explode, it wakes up, gets to work, and doesn't expire. When I eat too much, and forget to exercise, it does its best not to add on the extra pounds. And I am in awe.

I try to keep all of this in mind when I am complaining about myself, and I wish others would, too. When I see the ravages sickness has had on so many people, I almost appreciate that my only problem is that I am a little heavy or my ankles don't match. I am strong, and I am lucky.

01 August 2006


For the last few nights, I haven't been able to sleep. I am tired, bordering exhausted, and yet when my head hits the pillow, I am suddenly full of energy and ready to take on the world. Makes no sense!

I start falling asleep on the couch, and figure, well, now is a good time to hit the sack. Yet once I head in that direction, my mind starts racing. About what? You name it, but mostly stupid, non-consequential things. I lay there for up to an hour, tossing and turning and trying to sleep.

Eventually, I guess that happens, because I then usually wake up 3-4 times a night. Either a noise wakes me, or I am too hot, or I need to use the bathroom. This is all very new. It has been hot, so I have had to sleep with the window open, which means more noise. It also means that I can also get too cold, but if I use the comforter, I get too hot. It makes no sense and it is driving me crazy.

When I wake up, I am not refreshed. I am still tired and fighting to get out of bed to get to the gym. Then drag through the day until I can get to bed, when the whole cycle starts over again.

I can't quite figure out why this is suddenly the case. It has been at least a week now, and I can only hope it stops soon.

25 July 2006

People on the Bus

Dear Lady that Got on the Bus Today and Immediately Started Bitching about not Getting a Seat:

When you huff onto the bus, with your grandson in tow, and not look at or make eye contact with anyone sitting there, and then start bitching to the bus driver how none of the young people on the bus are getting up to give you a seat, well, you make me want to offer my seat even less. I mean, look at me, and maybe ask. Or give me the opportunity to offer. Don't just launch into how your grandkid has a blister and can't stand for the 6 blocks you have to go. Don't go on and on and shake your head even AFTER you were offered a seat by someone who was nice enough to get up.

Please don't assume that there isn't a reason people are sitting in those seats. Looks can be deceiving. Recently, I was on the bus with a friend who had just had foot surgery. She had to sit down and I stood in front of her to protect her foot. She is young, healthy, but at that point was disabled (temporary, thankfully) and using the seats correctly. We both got a lot of dirty looks (her because she was sitting, me because I wouldn't move further back). You can't always see peoples' disabilities, so don't assume that I don't need that seat. I won't assume just because you are old that you'll be a harping nag. Promise.

The girl who would have offered the seat (well maybe, if she weren't in 4 inch heels)

In other news...
- Greatest.news.ever. If it's true, that is. Beverly Hills 90210 first season DVDs are being released. Laugh if you want, but I love that show. I grew up with it. And according to what I read, they will be released right after my bday. Whoo-hoo! (really, folks, simple pleasures)

- DAMN. I just saw the preview for JT's new video, and it looks good. Which means I have to sit up and wait now until it premieres at 11pm. It didn't sound like him singing, but it sure looked like his hot butt in the video clip!

21 July 2006

We're Having Heat Wave

At 8.15am today, the temperature was already 68F. In SF proper. According to weather.com, our average temps this time of year are 55-71F, but anyone who lives here knows it sits near the 56-61F marker. It is usually chilly.

I am not complaining...aside from the stupid sunburns (stupid on my part for forgetting to put sunscreen on), I am loving it!! We are actually experiencing what summer is like!! It makes me use copious amounts of exclamation points!!

Last night I was heading home around 11.30pm, and I was in a cami type top and was not the least bit cold (the alcohol may have helped, but still...). NO JACKET IN SF? Almost unheard of.

I can't wait to spend the weekend outside (with sunscreen, I hope).

20 July 2006

My Bed....

is where the magic happens. (can't...stop...laughing...)

Whew, now that I have composed myself...last night as I was falling asleep, I got to thinking about my bed. I like my bed, it is cozy, the bedding is nice (although maybe due for a change), and it is big. What really got me wondering is how the hell I, a not very big person, can manage to take up my entire bed, and what will happen when I have to share the bed.

As a queen, it is big enough for two people. Easily, I would assume...but I really do take up the whole thing. I usually wake up smack dab in the middle. Like I said, I don't take up a tremendous amount of space, but on the occasions I have shared the bed, I feel like I am the biggest person in the world and no space will be enough. I curl up on the side, so as not to disturb the other person, just in case I take up too much. It is ridiculous. I need someone stat to teach me to share.

Whoops, did I just say that? Well, now you know.

Most pointless entry, I know. Too bad.

(no, that's not my bed up there...but it looks comfy, doesn't it?)

19 July 2006

Looking Back...

About a year ago (probably a year ago yesterday or so), I was traveling in Argentina and lost my passport. I was in a job that was completely stressing me out, wasn't happy at how things were going in general in my life, and was extremely high strung. Losing my passport was something I could normally handle ok, but at that point in time, it caused me to just snap.

I had flown back from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, and know I had my passport at that point. My assumption is that it either fell out of my pocket on the plane or in the cab on the way back to the hostel (I had already had a long morning, which included leaving my jacket in my hostel room in Mendoza, and having to jump in a cab, get back to the hostel and back to the airport before my flight left...the jacket was my brother's). At some point a day or two later, I thought to myself that I probably shouldn't be carrying around both my passport and license, just in case I lost my purse.

Back at the hostel, I reached into my purse to hide my passport in my suitcase. My passport wasn't there! Deep breath, ok, maybe I already hid it in my suitcase. Nope, not there either. Still not quite panicking, I went through all my pockets. Then through my purse again, and through another bag I had. When I couldn't find it in any of those, my blood pressure shot through the roof and I started freaking out. Re-searched through everything, separated all my clothes and belongings throughout my room (thankfully, it was a single), looked over everything in my room. When I realized it was gone, I freaked out.

The nice people at the embassy were very patient with me, although through the crying I don't know how they understood a word I said. My family sure didn't when I called them, and when they tried to calm me down, I freaked out further. How stupid was I? I am an experienced traveler, how could I let this happen? My passport, the lone souvenier of all my travels, was gone. Why didn't I check earlier? It was now Friday night, the embassy was closed over the weekend and my flight home was on Sunday. It would only take a day to get a new one, so I could leave Monday night, but what would that cost me? Would I get in trouble at work? I held it together enough to organize my flights, arrange my hostel, etc. I tried to find the friend I was supposed to meet at the opera (and even now, a year later, I have no way of getting in touch with her and owe her 20$), running all around Buenos Aires and coming up empty. The poor lady at my hostel tried so hard to help; I was a mess.

I got home in one piece, but it really showed me how tightly wound I was. And was the first hint that I was really unhappy with things. I mean, I was gone for two weeks and never felt like I was away from work, I remained stressed the whole time about projects I had going on. I am still sad about my lost passport stamps...my new one is completely empty (they issue you an emergency one, then when you get home you have to get a new real one. At least my emergency one has a stamp). I wonder if someone is using mine. I didn't get to go to Uruguay because the day I was planning to go, I had no passport.

Looking back, I am in a totally different place than I was a year ago. I am not as stressy about work (although I am pretty new...maybe I'll be more like that next year, but I sure hope not!), I feel like I am in a better place in my life. Some things have gone on this summer that weren't the best, but I am handling it much better than I would have in the past. Life is in no way perfect, but it is better. And I have a new passport burning a hole in my pocket, asking me to take it SOMEWHERE!!

18 July 2006

I Hurt Myself

Nothing turns me into a bigger baby than being injured. Especially when I cannot for the life of me figure out how I managed to do it.

I woke up Sunday morning with my left leg feeling like it was broken. It hurt to move it, hurt to put any weight on it, just plain hurt. I laid in bed and ran through the events of the prior day and evening. I went on a run in the morning, where, at some point, I did manage to trip over a pothold, but it was my right ankle that twisted, not my left. I wore a pair of shoes that did not belong to me (on the Saturday runs, Nike lets you try out their shoes), could that be the culprit? I am still hoping not, because those shoes fit my foot perfectly. I drank a lot during the day, but at no point remember falling or tripping in a way that would have hurt my leg. Night was easy, I came home and napped then went to bed early.

So it makes no sense. Yesterday it became obvious that I strained something, still with no rational reason. As the day progressed, the pain became more localized in my ankle. Definitely a strain, no swelling or anything but tough to put weight on it. Of course, I didn't wear the smartest shoes for an injury yesterday, but I looked cute and needed cute, not functional, shoes to complete the outfit.

I am giving myself this one last day off. I need to keep training and I don't want this to throw a wrench into things too much. I have worked out/played on injuries before, but things don't heal the way they used to so I need to be more careful. Mainly, however, I want to lay on my couch with an ice pack, taking Advil, whining to myself and trying to figure out what the hell I did.

07 July 2006

Baseball...I Like It

I like baseball.

Anyone who knows me, knows this. I have never quite figured out why I like it so much-- it is kind of slow, action is sporadic, usually rather long games-- but I do. I understand it better than I do almost any game I have ever played; my first job was keeping score for my brother's Babe Ruth League. Maybe that's why. I spent many a summer up in the score booth, deciding if someone committed an error or if it was a 1B of FC. Getting yelled out by grown men because they didn't agree with my decision. Being lauded by the cuties that benefited from my decision. (disclaimer: my calls were never based on someone I thought was cute, although it is tempting) I associate it with being the decision maker, with human subjectivity, with cute boys and hot summer days.

I also think it provided one common ground with my dad when I was a teen. We didn't get along well at the time, but we could always talk about baseball. It was the one thing my grandpa could watch, complain about, enjoy when he was confined to his house or hospital room. It brings people together-- from the little kid who goes to his or her first game with the harried father buying everything the kid wants, to the adult child and parents who go to just enjoy and drink a beer or two.

Soon after my grandmother passed away, we celebrated by grandpa's birthday in a skybox at the Oakland A's game. It was the first game he had attended since he had a stroke about 7 years prior. It was a coordinated effort-- he couldn't walk up and down all the steps and to and from the car, so we had to get a little assistance-- but it was worth it. We were all together, and he was happy. We sat in the front row of the box, ate popcorn and hot dogs and nachos and whatever other food we wanted, and watched Barry Zito pitch a hell of a game. Unfortunately, he pitched so well, it was the shortest game in Oakland's history (up until then), way under 2 hours. But it was a fun time, and one I like to think my grandpa, and the rest of us, really enjoyed.

I spent this last 4th of July holiday at the ballgame with my dad. We have spent several of these holidays together, bonding over the A's and how they are doing (depending on the season, awesomely well or incredibly sucky). We had a few beers, sat in the sunshine, and enjoyed the game. This year, it went into extra innings and we left at the end of the 9th inning, but the A's ended up winning. Watching it at home, we celebrated. Baseball.

29 June 2006

Jack in the Box

Since when did Jack in the Box become such a perv? I have seen an evolution of sorts, but this latest commercial confirms it.

It is for his latest product, I think it is a meal of sorts with a patty melt (maybe?), chocolate shake, and special fries. Jack and a cohort are watching a group of test subjects from behind a two way mirror. The group of men is around the product, while on the other side of the room, various distractions are being presented. Distractions include a hot motorcycle, a big screen TV playing baseball, an ice cold keg, and the finale, two women jumping on the bed in a pillow fight. The men never take their eyes off the product. Jack's cohort says they can take over the world, but Jack is too busy perving out over the two women on the bed.

This is how Jack wants to sell burgers? Ewwww.

28 June 2006

Sweet 16? More like Spoiled Brat 16.

In continuing my penchant for horrible TV, I am watching My Sweet 16. This MTV "reality" show follows privileged fifteen year olds as they plan their sweet 16 party.

It is gross.

First of all, I understand that teenagers don't always speak nicely to their parents. I know I didn't. But the way these kids treat their parents...AND THEIR PARENTS LET THEM!! They are also to blame. They take their kids to Paris, London, NYC to buy a new dress. Or two. For a sweet sixteen party.

I don't remember any of my friends really having a sweet 16 party. Maybe we went to dinner or something, but I can't think of much more elaborate than that. Has it become that big a deal? Am I that out of touch?

I feel partially to blame...I watch this crap and give MTV the audience it needs to perpetuate the notion that this is the norm. And I can't figure out why I watch it...I don't even understand half of what they are saying (an excerpt was something like, "Did Bjorn have the dopest threads to hold on to his title as divo and beat everyone for the sweetest 'fit?"). And I can't figure out where they find these people. Some of these parents spend over 100K$ to throw their kid a bday party. None of them seem to have food, and there shouldn't be any alcohol, so where are they spending their money?
  • Entertainment (Ciara, some rapper I don't know, L.A. Reid's son had a bunch of folks, including Jermaine Dupree, but those may have been free)
  • Designer Duds for the kids
  • Trips to some big fashion mecca to find said Designer Duds
  • Name-brand cars; nothing less than a BMW, Lexus, Range Rover, Mercedes will do
  • Fancy-schmazy invitations (one passed out little MP3 players...I think that was L.A. Reid's son and I don't think those were free)
  • Huge cakes that get smashed into

I don't know why I watch this crap. It really scares me.

26 June 2006


Some people like eating raw cookie dough...me? Raw Funfetti mix.


I ate too much, and may be ill. But it was still delicious.

Soap Operas

Every day I head home after work, and am greeted with the latest recordings on my Tivo. Always there, like a faithful companion, is that day's episode of General Hospital. For an hour a day (usually less because I have to fast forward through so much of the crap and characters I can't stand), I fall into the world of Port Charles, into the world of these friends I have known for as long as I can remember.

Like many people, I grew up with soap operas. My mom watched (and sometimes still watches) the ABC soaps-- All My Children, One Life to Live and General. My Grammie always watched the CBS shows-- As the World Turns and Guiding Light (and the other one, but I can't remember the name). I, of course, watched them all with them. The story lines weren't that complicated, the characters remained relatively the same, and my mom, Grammie, and aunts all talked about the soaps so it was easy to keep up.

As I got older, I gravitated mostly to General Hospital. For a while I tried Days of our Lives, because it seemed to be "the thing" to watch, but I found myself back at GH. They are addicting, these soap operas, and sometimes they are even compelling.

In 1994/1995, there was what I consider one of the best storylines ever on GH. There had been a lot going on that year...I believe that was the year BJ died and Maxie took her little heart, Jagger and Karen and Jason had a wicked love triangle, and Stone Cates arrived on the scene, enamouring Robin Scorpio. Robin was my age, and Stone was hot, and dangerous, and all was well in PC. Until Stone was diagnosed with AIDS. I remember crying on the day Stone died on the show...many of us were crowded into the University Union at Cal Poly watching him take his last breath and crying with Robin. This story hit home, I guess, with many of us.

I think I cried one more time when Lucky "died" in the fire, and a distraught Elizabeth tried to make sense of it all. Lucky and Liz's love story-- Lucky was originally in love with Sarah Webber, Liz's sister, who was in love with Nikolas Cassadine, Lucky's half-brother-- was so sweet. I feel like I know these people.

And therein lies the problem with soaps...they draw you in, and because people are, by nature, nosy, we stay glued to the set to see who the father of the baby is, or when she will get over anmesia, or if he is really dead. These things wouldn't really happen in real life, or, if they did, not to the same people over and over again....I mean, really, don't people ever learn a lesson? Soaps are formulaic (one night stand with someone's husband/boyfriend= instant pregnancy; new baby=unsure paternity; someone falls off a boat and dies, but there is no body= return of character in 5 years), but it works.

These people have been more consistent in my life than most I have known in real life. Although I don't watch it, I can turn on ATWT and still see my Grammie's favorite Lily and Holden, although their trial of the month will be different. Now I turn on GH and Robin is back, Robin that I grew up watching, played by the same actress. She has been on since she was about 8... I don't know how many people I am still in touch with after 22 years.

In a world of change, soaps are a constant.

19 June 2006

On Dying...

First off, I hate the phrase, "S/he is dead." To me it is so cold, so impersonal. And to me, death isn't impersonal. It affects people. Maybe I am naive, but I rather like, "S/he passed away." There is a softness to it that makes it, to me, more palatable. It makes it seem like they have headed on to their next journey, whatever that may be (and even if it is just a long, dreamless sleep. I don't know, I haven't made my mind up on that).

I have been thinking alot about death the last few days. Makes sense, as my Papa just passed away last Wednesday. The last time I saw him, we were told he didn't have much more time. I don't know if they told him that, but when I went in to see him, he had a ethereal look that told me he knew what was going on. There was a peace about him that I hadn't seen in some time, and he looked at all of us (me, my brother, mom, aunt, cousin, uncle...there were lots of us there) as though it could be his last time. While we were told it would be a few weeks, if not a few months, he took fate into his own hands and set on his trek later that evening.

When I was in college, I wrote a paper about El Dia de la Muerte, a Mexican holiday that celebrates those who have gone before us. In it, I wondered if we know, somehow, when the current day will be our last. Is there something that tells us, this day may be a little different? Even people who die suddenly or horribly, is there somehow that day starts a little different, with a peaceful feeling? I sometimes think this when I swerve around an accident, and don't feel like this is my last day, so it probably won't be.

I like to think that our mind somehow prepares us. Not warn us, because if it is how it is to be, so be it. But kind of makes us see the colors a little brighter, look at people in a different light, feel something different. And this thing I think, it is not like a premonition, or an omen. It is not something we can detect and then stay home all day to try to avoid doing anything. But maybe it is a sense of forgiveness that finally comes in the last seconds, and I hope a sense of peace. And the whole day was preparing you to accept that. I don't know, I don't have it fully fleshed out, but I feel like there should be something there.

This is all morbid, I realize that. But I don't mean it to me. Thinking back to the last time I saw my Papa, I know he knew something. He knew he could stop fighting. But did he know he would pass away that day? I think so. I think he waited until everyone had visited him (in the two or so days he was in the hospital, all of my immediate had been there) and seen that he was ok with what lied ahead. He waited until he was alone in his hospital room, closed his eyes, and went on his merry way. And I think that was just the way he wanted it.

A mi Papa, te amo demasiado para siempre. Y te echo de menos siempre.

07 June 2006

Peanut, Peanut Butter

...and jam.

In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie talks about secret single habits that all singles have. Habits that we don't want anyone else to see, or possibly even know about, but that are a part of our lives and daily routines. I think these habits are even more developed when you live solo, as there is really no one around to ever check your behavior, and no one to share anything with.

Ladles and Germs, I am here to reveal my secret single habit. I love peanut butter, and I love jelly, and I love nothing more to get a scoop of PB and then dipping that peanut butter into the jelly. That is followed by the bringing of that bite size scoop of PB&J (sans bread) into my mouth, and then into my belly. YUM.

It is a quick snack when I am a little hungry. One spoon, that's it for the mess. It is a quick comfort when I am sad...some people eat a pint of ice cream, I have a tablespoon or two of reduced fat peanut butter and low sugar jelly (usually apricot or strawberry). At least there's some protein!

I am not sure when this habit began developing. College maybe? I do know, for a very long time, I have told people not to eat my peanut butter. Not because I don't want to share, but because they may be kind of grossed out. I know I would be.

As far as secret single habits go, this one isn't too bad. It isn't like I pick my toes and then eat what I have picked out, or other nasty things people do (hey, no judging...to each their own, as long as hands get washed before they get near me).

06 June 2006

The Break Up

Disclaimer: I love Vince Vaughn. I will, however, remain objective.

Despite the bad press it keeps getting, I saw The Break Up last Friday, opening day. And... I liked it.

Perhaps the critics and I weren't watching the same movie. The movie I saw was at times funny, at times really tough to watch, at times a little sad and maybe, once in a while, a little immature. What relationship, and more specifically, what break up, doesn't contain these elements?

It definitely strayed from the "chick flick" formula. There weren't really wacky hijinks, or slap knee funny pranks or a perfect ending. I know I cringed during many scenes. This movie made me uncomfortable. But what is so wrong with that?

If you haven't seen it, there may be some spoilers below. But who am I kidding...from the looks of the comments no one but me really reads this. Which is ok. Hello to those of you who are reading!

The one main flaw I can find is that I didn't feel too invested in these characters. They showed me how they met, and then a montage of pictures showed me how happy their relationship is at the start of the movie. But anyone can smile and look happy in pictures. No one is that blissful all the time, right? It is important to pay attention during the montage; it gives somewhat of a backstory. But, with only how they met and then these pictures to tell me about their relationship, I am unsure of why Brooke is with Gary, and what possessed her to by a house with him. He couldn't have changed THAT much once they moved in, could he? Was he doing dishes before?

The movie starts with a pivotal point in their relationship. She wants him to want to help, without him having to ask. Even outside of romantic relationships, this argument happens. From the mom who wants the kids to pick up their room without being asked time and time again, to the boss that wants her workers to think a step ahead and not always rely on her for the answers, to the friend who needs someone to know when they are needed, without being told. This is an ages old argument, and this scene rings so true. You can see Brooke putting together all the times she has wanted to say something, which has stayed bottled up for a long time but suddenly is at the surface. You can see Gary's defeat, his feeling that nothing he does is ever good enough, his wondering why he should even try. This scene, although peppered with VV's quick banter, is uncomfortable to watch. It is not what we usually see in the movies. And, for me, that is what makes it work.

The rest of the movie deals with the two of them, still loving each other, trying not to be the one who breaks. Eventually, they hurt each other enough that the damage seems permanent. The acting here is well done; you can see their pain, and the love they have still, but how they can't figure out what to do with those feelings. As they say goodbye, you can feel that this has defeated them.

Too often American movies are such a pretty package. The romantic comedy genre is afraid of the unhappy ending, afraid of not providing closure (unless there will be a sequel, which have been WAY overdone). The makers of this movie hastily slapped on a new ending, which you could tell. But, thankfully, they didn't sew things up. Gary didn't hunt Brooke down, pick her up and plant a big kiss on her; they don't go on their merry way. And that is ok. Much like a good book, I like that something is left to my imagination.

I don't know what the critics were expecting when they saw this movie. Were they looking for a critical masterpiece? Aren't romantic comedies, by their nature, a bit of fluff? Maybe that's it, there was a little too much reality. Maybe the critics didn't like it, but I did!

05 June 2006

Search is Over...

Full of hot air tonight, I am.

After finding out I did not, in fact, get the job I had my heart set on, I was very disappointed. At that point, I wasn't sure if I still wanted to look for another job. Perhaps I could just stay where I was. It was hard to sneak out of work so much...how many "appointments" can a girl have?! It was really stressing me out. Add to that the nonstop rain (1.5 months!!), and this Annie was pretty down in the dumps.

After allowing myself to wallow a bit, and taking a break from The Search, I resumed. Started sending my resume in to lots of employers, and more recruiters. Met with a few more recruiters, none of whom were particularly helpful, but I am a good hire, right? They would find something for me me soon.

One appointment was very strange. I was going in to speak to the recruiter about a specific position, one that required at least 5 years experience. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the agency, and was asked to take a Word test, Excel test, a PowerPoint test, a spelling test, a filing test and a math test. The recruiter was SHOCKED by how quickly I finished and how high my scores were (really, she went on and on); I was shocked that they would ask for someone with that much experience and then make them do basic testing. My attitude was poor after that, and the interview got worse. This was an entry-level recruiting/staffing agency, and was definitely not used to dealing with higher levels. She asked me some crazy questions, I got increasingly impatient, and finally it was over. I have a feeling they never even submitted my resume to the company they were recruiting for, and that was probably for the better. I was mad that I had wasted a valuable amount of time.

After meeting with yet another recruiting company-- who had only a few openings, none of which I was really qualified for-- I was once again feeling down. It had been 5 months, and I was still stuck at my old job. I didn't care anymore about my old job, and I didn't like that. And I felt like I would never get out. Ever.

That week, I sent in more resumes to companies I had found on Monster. To my great surprise, I got calls for two! Here I had been working with 4+ recruiters, and I got calls all on my own! I went into the first one, and really hit it off with the manager. Similar position to what I was currently doing, but totally different type of company and different industry. I was really excited when I left, and even more excited when, at the end of that day, I got a call asking me to come back in and meet with more people! After just a few hours!

In the meantime, an agency wanted me to go in and interview. So I did. I liked the agency, and while it didn't get me as excited as Company #1, it would have been a very good career opportunity. I went back in to Company #1, and finally #2 called me back in. Company #1 told me they had one more person I needed to meet with, but they started calling my references, so I felt pretty positive. I was going out of town for a week, so both companies needed to wait until I got back to do anything more. While I was away, all I could think was that it may be my last work trip with this company, the last time I will see many of these people. In that sense it was bittersweet, but exciting at the same time.

I had my interview with Company #2 when I returned home. As I was getting ready to go to that interview, I got an email and a call from the manager at Company #1 that she had some good news. I excitedly called her back, and she told me as long as all negotiations went well, she'd love it if I came on board! I got the job!

I still went through with the other interview. What if it didn't work out and once again, I was out of luck? The interview went well, and the recruiter told me not to accept until I heard from Company #2 the next day. The next day rolled around, I was able to negotiate a better salary from Company #1, and accepted the position. I never did hear again from Company #2, so I am glad I didn't wait (I don't know if they heard I accepted the job, or they just weren't interested... after going in a few times, I kind of expected them to let me know something!).

I resigned the next day. It was nervewracking, but I did it. And once I did, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Could I have been more excited?! My last two weeks were nuts, no time to slack, and then I had two weeks of R&R (part of the time in Maui). It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!

Job Search...

I know it has been a while, but my life had mainly been focused on finding a new job, and I couldn't really talk about it in a public forum. So, after a long and daunting job search, I have finally landed a new gig. After a two week notice, and a two week vacation, I started the job today!

The search was full of ups and downs. I committed to finding a new job in November 2005 (the week before Thanksgiving). Upon posting my resume, I received many calls, mostly from recruiters. I began working with one in particular, and went in to meet her about 2 weeks before Christmas; she had an opening that sounded pretty ideal for me, and I was very excited! Unfortunately, that time of year is a little tough for scheduling interviews, etc., so I had to sit and wait.

Turns out, that job went to an internal hire, BUT the hiring company liked my resume and had another, similar opening. I went for my first interview at the end of January. It went really well. But it wasn't for the job I thought; same group, different role. I figured it out midway through, but didn't care. I was qualified and would have been happy with either job. They wanted a few particular skills I didn't have, but they must have liked my personality, because they did bring me back to interview for other role.

A few weeks later, I went back, and aced the interview. Everyone loved me (I will say...I can turn it on during an interview. I'm never sure about where that comes from, but glad it is there!), and I was told that they wanted me to work there, they just had to figure out what position. Great, I thought, just a little while longer and I would be able to give my resignation! I just had to interview with one of the higher ups.

That happened a few days later. Didn't do as well as I would have liked in that round, but the guy intimidated me a little bit. I had also had a bad day at work, not that it's an excuse but it did lend to my poor interview. I guess it wasn't as bad as I thought, because they called me to come back about a week later (SOP, apparently, for this company). So again I went, and again, I aced it. Feeling very confident, I waited to hear from them...A week later, I did.

I got the job! YAY. I was so excited, but still had an uneasy feeling. I tried to ignore it as I waited for the real offer, with numbers. Tried not to get my hopes up, what if the offer wasn't good, but waited with eager anticipation. Soon, I found out why I was feeling uneasy. About two days after they made me a verbal, I got a message that at the 11th hour, a very senior person decided to go a different direction with the position.

WHA? After two months of interviewing (and almost 3 since I had first heard of the positions), several rounds of meetings, a verbal offer, and they reneg it? After everyone else had signed off on it? I was so disappointed...tried to tell myself that it wasn't meant to be, but that didn't help the disappointment.